Singapore preschools will place greater focus on outdoor education to “give children the best start to life”, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.
PCF Sparkletots, one of the largest preschool operators in Singapore, will from 2019 onwards organise more field trips for students as well as offer additional structured learning programs in areas such as speech and drama, sports and social etiquette, on top of the standard curriculum.
Teo, who is also PCF’s executive committee chairman, said the expanded preschool program aims to enrich students’ learning experience.
“The world is a big place. As early as we can, we want to expose our children to the wider world, develop their sense of curiosity and encourage them to ask questions, read and have diverse interests,” she said.
“It’s all part of enriching their experience. The earlier we do it, the more we open up their minds.”
The additional programs will come at a nominal fee of about $3 to $6 per trip to cover transport costs for example, reported The Straits Times.
The outdoor education program will be offered to about 6,000 students from 73 centres first over the school holiday period this year. If the experience is positive, Teo said that PCF will extend it to more centres and children. In total, PCF has about 43,000 students and more than 360 centres.
“Starting early is very valuable,” she said. “It is always about uplifting every single child and making sure that whatever starting lines they’re at, they have the opportunity to have the richest and the most broad learning experience.”